By Jude Obuseh
Most of us are working parents who have engagements that keep us away from home most times, leaving our kids all on their own, exposing them to plethora of threats to their safety.
As responsible parents, it is our duty to ensure the safety of our kids whenever we are not with them. Thus, to ensure the safety of our kids both at home, in school or anywhere outside the home front, it is pertinent that we lay down some basic set of instructions.
This piece prescribes some safety commandments that can help keep our kids out of harm’s way at school or at home, while we pursue our other daily concerns.
Commandment #1 Familiarize Your Kid With Your Name And Contact Details: No matter how young your child might be it is necessary to familiarize that child with simple contact details such as your name, your job, office address, house address, phone number and other personal details, which that child should be made to memorize and be able to share with someone in emergency situations. A backup number of a close friend or family member could also come in handy. Knowledge of other local landmarks is also imperative. Keep reinforcing these until they become part of your kid.
Commandment #2 Teach Your Kid To Say “No” To Food Or Drink Offered By Strangers: We all know the dangers involved in eating food or drink offered by people we don’t know. Cases abound of individuals who died or became very sick after eating food offered by strangers. That is why you need to teach your kids about the inherent dangers in eating food that is given to them by strangers. Let them know that it is dangerous to accept food from anyone they don’t know, no matter how tempting. They should be taught to be firm and polite in their refusal of food offered by strangers.
Commandment#3 Instruct Your Kids To Avoid Playing With Electrical Appliances: Cases abound of kids who died or got seriously hurt while playing with electrical appliances, especially at home where they have more access to these gadgets than elsewhere. Kids are naturally inquisitive and adventurous, prone to trying out new things, oblivious of the dangers associated with such experiments. Electric gadgets are very attractive playthings for these highly impressionable minds. Whether switches, music systems, television sets et al, kids must be instructed on the dangers in going near these appliances. Better still, disconnect all electrical appliances at home and lock them up in safe compartments before going out to prevent your kids from endangering themselves in your absence.
Commandment #4 Your Kids Should Not Go Out Alone: It is not safe for kids to be allowed to go out alone, considering the fact that danger might be lurking around the corner. Cases about of kids who got lost, kidnapped and in some extreme instances killed because they ventured out alone. It is advised that if they must go out at all, a grown up should accompany them to wherever they are going to for their safety. The presence of an adult will, despite not being an iron caste guarantee of your child’s safety, at least minimize external potential threats to them.
Commandment #5 Warn Your kids To Stay Away From Fire: Playing with fire is a sure path to getting seriously hurt, maimed or even killed in extreme cases, especially for kids who do not know the dangers associated with toying with this fiery element, either at home or elsewhere. Make sure all fire making materials are kept out of their reach. Instruct your kids on the dangers in playing near fire and the possible consequences that could be the outcome of disobeying your counsel. Teach them basic fire drills to prepare them for possible fire outbreaks. Install a smoke alarm as an extra precaution.
Commandment #6 Warn Your Kids To Avoid Strangers: Your kid should know that no matter what the reasoning, it is not safe to go anywhere with a stranger. Tell your kid that if a stranger tells them something like ‘Your mom asked you to come with me immediately,’ they should stay where they are and shout out for help. Ensure that if there is an emergency, you will always send a family member, like grandparent or aunt, to be with your kid and not a stranger.
Commandment #7 Warn Your Kids Against Being Touched By Strangers: This is a very important safety rule for kids and you should teach about it as soon as your kid can understand the basics. Teach about good touch and bad touch. Tell your kid that no one is allowed to touch your kid except mommy, and sometimes papa, if needed. If anyone else has touched your kid, your kid should immediately shout for help and alert people around.
Commandment #8 Instruct Them To Stay Where They Are, If The Get Lost: In the event that your kid gets lost, tell them it is important they stay right where they are. If they see any other mom with kids nearby, they can ask her for help. Your kid should stay inside the place and not go out, even with the other mom. Most common places where kids get lost are the super markets. Tell your kid that they can walk up to the counter of the store and tell the person they are lost.
Commandment #9 Warn Them Against Sharing Contact Details With Strangers (except in Emergencies, as noted in Commandment 1): Your kid should know that it is unsafe to share personal details like phone numbers, address, email ids or pictures with strangers. Any information that is shared should only be with your consent or in your presence.
Commandment #10 Teach Them To Do Things They Are comfortable With: No matter what your kid may be asked to do, if it makes your kid uncomfortable, your kid should NOT do it. This could be something as simple as taking off clothes in front of others and diving in a home pool. If your kid is not comfortable about it, no matter how many friends are doing it, your kid should not do it at all.
These 10 safety commandments might not be watertight, iron cast measures, but they have the likelihood of minimizing potential threats to the safety of your wards at home or in school. Kids are highly impressionable beings who can be conditioned to behave in certain ways. Teach them and they will learn.
Open up channels of communication with your child. Give them room to freely express themselves. Make them trust you and you will gain insights into the workings of their minds.
*** Jude Obuseh is a Nigerian-based Peace Researcher, Journalist, Scholar, Publisher, Life Coach and Entrepreneur. He can be reached on: Tel – +2348168580211 or via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
*** You can also read up the following posts by Jude Obuseh on this platform:
- Building Synergy For Business Success
- The Secret To Sustaining A Successful Business
- How To Gain A Competitive Edge Over Your Business Rivals
- How To Win And Maintain The Loyalty Of Your Customers
- The Ultimate Law Of Business Success
- The Main Key To Business Success
- 5 Tips On Staying Informed, while Working In Isolation Or Quarantine
- Five Strategies For Financial Solvency During A Pandemic
- How To Make Your Business Stand Out
- How To Make Your Employees Get You The Moon